Etnies Jameson HTW Winterized Boots

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Are you on the lookout every winter for a simple pair of boots? Not to skate in of course, because it’s rare to find a crossover that works, just a clean and simple boot that deals with the shitty British deep freeze and dampness for 5 months straight. The kind of boots that don’t make your feet wet. Boots that don’t have heels or super thick soles that take forever to put on and make you feel like a stupid goth twat. Do you ever feel this seasonal anxiety?

The chances are that I’m on my jacks on this one, but for those who agree that this feeling exists I can safely say that those frustrating days are long gone, because etnies have totally smashed it with their Jameson HTW. I’ve personally been a big fan of the Jameson range from their very first offering, which include the SC, Bloodline, eco, eco 2 etc – they’ve always delivered a killer shoe to skate in but these new winterized numbers are next level and guess what? You can even bloody well skate in them too. Question is though: why did it take so long? Perfection always takes time and with 30 years experience in the game, etnies are now looking to up their game across all of their ranges and nailing it too.

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These boots are ridiculously comfortable as soon as they hit your feet but not too bulky like some other winter boots I’ve reviewed in the past. These are skate shoes with amazing waterproofed gum compound on the outside, mirrored by insulated, quick dry material on the inside. The tread on the sole is a little deeper than your average skate shoe allowing you more stability on slippery surfaces too – like ice and snow. Once back indoors, you can stick your shoes on a radiator when wet and they will dry pretty quickly. They are also easy to clean just with a wet rag, or in the washing machine on a low heat, but the best fact of all is that you don’t feel like you are lugging around any weight – just like wearing a skate shoe.

I opted for the jet black ones (as I once was a stupid goth twat) but these also come in brown tan and also black with white soles as you can see in the photos. No joke, these are the best winter boots I’ve ever had on my feet and made by the skaters of Soletech, for skaters. Just don’t tell anyone else how good these are, and that they are only £85, otherwise you will see them in your local high street shops by February and your Dad will be wearing them.

Zac

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Tom Asta Signature Colourway éS

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Tom Asta’s new Accel Slim on éS is about to hit your local skate shop. This signature colourway, influenced by the colors of the American flag with red and blue accents, come with a tongue ventilation system to keep your feet cool and a 400 NBS outsole providing flex and grip for the perfect flick.

Search them out, vote with your feet and support skater owned.

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Natas Kaupas guest Lakai Camby Echelon shoe

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You would have to search hard to find a bigger skateboarding legend than Natas Kaupas, his contribution to the scene will be firmly set in the history books forever. Lakai, being one of the top skater run shoe companies out there, have rolled out a guest shoe with Natas this week as part of their exclusive Echelon range. Three colourways have been designed from their amazing Camby shoe that have a water-resistant film built into the canvas.

Look out for these beauties at those special skate shops that carry the Lakai Echelon range and click here for our interview with Natas in Marseille back in 2004.

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éS Sal 20 shoe review

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Had a taste of shoe heaven yet this year? If not, you’re about to find some. The history of the original Sal 23 started as the very first éS shoe when they launched back in 1995 – at the time it was a bona fide classic, the first pro skate shoe for Sal Barbier that spread like wildfire throughout the scene that was not only admired for its fashion statement, the functionality of the shoe was 100% built for skateboarding by skateboarders.

This period was golden. Skateboarding was raw, the real underground. None of Michael Jordan’s people were anywhere near our scene at the time, although said sports pro did share the same basketball number with Sal – the 23, a number that most 90s skaters will never forget due to this shoe. This new re-issue sees his infamous number switched to 20, paying homage to éS celebrating a sterling 20 strong years in the skater owned shoe game. Only a hardcore few will want their 23 back, but the double decade will do nicely.

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Rightful big ups to éS for their achievements aside, let’s go back to functionality, because it’s rare these days for any skate shoe company to issue a shoe that has an ollie patch. Most companies want you to skate every day so that your Mum has to buy you a new pair and replace them fast – it’s a sucker marketing strategy, sneaky too. Barbier and the dudes at Sole Tech wanted a shoe that lasted. It’s a beautiful touch and one that you will appreciate when you slip these on and start pushing.

“I wanted a rubber piece on the side so it wouldn’t rip up. I kind of liked that, because I don’t always like wearing ’em when they’re brand new.” explains Sal in a previous interview. “By the time most skate shoes break in, you have to get a new pair because they’re all ripped up. I worked on the design of the whole shoe, the sole, the logo, everything, around 1994-95.”

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We had a delivery of the Sal 20 here recently and have spent 3 weeks in them now. The first obvious observation is that they are now made thinner than the OGs (thankfully), but back then everything in skateboarding was wide – apart from wheels. They are comfy too. None of this waiting for the shoe to be ready for a sesh, these are lit straight out of the box. I personally like to stick the laces behind the tongue allowing the logo to represent, like a number plate. Surrounded by smooth suede with perforation holes in front of the first lace, these are super simple, but perfectly efficient for street or mini ramp skating.

All you need to know is that these are 100% skateboarding. éS have brought a classic back from their wonderful archives and re-issued them in style. You need a pair in your life. Support skater owned brands so the next wave of hard working skaters can get what they deserve.

It’s worth noting that these come up a little small, so I opted for a half size up and they were perfect. Find them in your local skate shop this month in three colourways.

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Riley Hawk Lakai pro shoe

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Lakai have issued Riley Hawk‘s pro shoe this week and it’s looking solidly in line with their quality collection this season. Influenced by parts of the MJ shoe, the Camby and the Owen, Riley’s signature design comes in walnut seude, gargoyle coated canvas, black seude and navy seude. Pick a winner from your local skate shop this month.

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Daewon Song 20th anniversary DVS shoes

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Celebrate an incredible 20 years of DVS with Daewon Song this month by picking up a pair of his signature shoes, his 14th model over many years of loyal service.

It’s not often these days that skate shoes are made with extra durability to deal with technical wear, but Daewon has added a rubber ollie patch so that your feet can deal with grip tape rub, making your shoes last longer. These also come with a suede collar lining to help avoid heel flip blowouts and a non-slip vulcanized outsole with deep herringbone tread.

They come in either canvas or suede and are available now in your local skate shop. Look out for them.

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Supra Avex review

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Supra‘s new team model for 2015, the ‘Avex’, incorporates new tech into the traditional skate shoe we already know and love, making it skate like no other. After sessioning in these over the last few weeks these shoes didn’t disappoint as there’s no shortfall in the balance between style and durability and by exploiting hot melt technologies, they’ve created a nearly seamless outer cage which will go unscathed. It’s built like a tank whilst maintaining ultimate flexibility.

From the second I pulled the laces tight I understood what all of the fuss had been about. The Avex didn’t need to be broken in, that’s right, not a hint of new shoe ankle roll, allowing me to shred from day one straight out of the box.

Encased within the outer cage is an internal mesh bootie, this makes the shoe feather weight, whilst allowing the shoe to breath with maximum efficiency. However this inner bootie provides only one downfall, where it is exposed from the outer cage along the side, for any Heelflip or Nollie enthusiast this exposed mesh will surely dissolve quicker than most. However if this mesh panel were simply placed a little more cautiously the shoe would have no complaints whatsoever. Despite this slight downfall in durability the toe area of the shoe held up extremely well as there are little signs of any thinning in the super-strong suede.

The Avex is neatly tied into one with the support of its EVA foam which spreads throughout the sole, absorbing elephantine amounts of force, whilst upholding board feel as it thins towards the toe. All of Supra shoes are now fitted with Suprafoam insoles further adding to this absorption and comfort.

Overall this new model performed exceedingly well, securing them as one of my go to shoes from this day onwards. I think we have a game changer here in the overall design of many modern skate shoes and I believe Supra are ahead of the times at this moment.

Henry Calvert

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Lakai Camby

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The good folk of Lakai have rolled out the ultimate sunshine tripper this year in the Camby shoe. It’s a simple number that comes in either canvas or suede that perform as a perfect all-round chiller. I have had these on now for a month and just managed to get them in the washing machine to freshen them up, as there’s been no need for socks in this heat, unless you are someone who has adopted the ‘long sock and roll’ look. They came out of this cycle fine, to live another day, just doing what they do best, which is pretty much taking care of business of my feet on a hot summer’s day.

You can skate in these of course as Stevie Perez proves in the clip below, but don’t expect a simple shoe like this to last forever when hitting your grip tape every day. They come with a vulc sole in black, green, port, red, navy and even a cloud design in light blue and fluffy white. The best part of this is that they are made by skaters, for skaters, so take that in the next time you are stood in your local skate shop and #chooseskateboarding.

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